I organized 12-course Cantonese style banquet dinner to celebrate my big 5-0 with friends earlier this month, and I chose King Hua Restaurant in Alhambra because I enjoyed the food and the service in my previous visits to the restaurant both for similar dinners, as well as during dim sum.
While the service was very attentive, and the servers were extremely helpful in serving the 3 different cakes at the of the banquet, I found the preparations of many of the courses could have been done better.
However, what was most important was that everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
Scallops & Beef Cubes in Bird’s Nest – This was a good dish with the exception that the nest itself tasted like a fortune cookie. This combination of savory and sweet was not appealing to many in my group. I wished they would have done traditional preparation by creating a nest out of long strands of shredded potatoes and then deep fry it. Would have been lighter, just as crunchy, but without that sweetness.
Crab & Fish Maw Soup – This was the less expensive of the 2 versions on their menu. But even at $52 (I needed 2 orders per table), it was pretty much a disappointment. Sure, there was ample crab meat, but not as much fish maw. Worse was the fact the soup lacked any seasoning, and the fish maw pieces were just bland.
Steamed Chicken with Ham & Mushroom – This dish was hampered from the chicken, ham and mushrooms sitting in too much sauce. Traditionally, there’s only a little bit of sauce underneath to provide flavor. The ham and shitake mushrooms were too salty as well.
Seafood Palace (formerly Seafood Village) Style Garlic Lobster – Good flavor but lobster got overcooked rendering some of the meat dry.
Stuffed Deep Fried Egg Tofu with Diced Vegetables was not prepared as well as the last time had this dish. Some of the tofu was only hollowed out 1/3 way deep, so there was’nt enough room to stuff them with diced vegetables. I originally requested 2 orders of this dish so that each person can have a whole piece of the stuffed tofu, but that request was missed, so we had to cut these pieces in half in order to serve everyone at the table.
Seafood Chow Mein, HK Style with crispy noodles, but the preparation was lacking in that much of the noodles were not deep fried to a nice golden crisp, leaving a soggy mess in the middle.
Natsu Cake from Jin Patisserie: Kumquat Compote, Vanilla Sponge Cake, Yuzu Creme Brulee and Marscapone.